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Qiwamah & Wilayah Project

Reflecting our commitment to the equality, equity and empowerment of Muslim women, CCMW-in partnership with the Mussawah network is currently engaged in a groundbreaking knowledge building initiative which focuses on critically examining and offering alternative readings of the Islamic legal concepts of qiwamah and wilayah. Long understood within Islamic scholarship as the basis for male authority over women, conventional Islamic approaches to marriage establish that the institution places the wife under the husband’s authority (qiwamah). The wife’s submission (tamkin) and position is attributed to the husband’s role as laborer and sustainer of the household and the preserver of the wife’s livelihood (nafaqah). Thus, playing a prevalent role in the justification and fortification of patriarchy and gendered inequalities within society and Muslim households, these understandings of qiwamah and wilayah have profound implications for women and children in the areas of divorce, marriage, custody, inheritance, finance and lastly sexual and reproductive rights.

The cross-national project has three components:

  1. Conducting research on the role of qiwamah and wilayah within historical and present-day Muslim legal traditions and its socio-economic impact and reality
  2. Engaging in participatory research through the Global Life Stories Project in 12 Countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, Gambia, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Malaysia,Nigeria, Philippines, and United Kingdom) to document women’s and men’s life stories and experiences in relation to these two principles
  3. Creating spaces for scholars and activists to discuss and forge new understandings

As the lead on the Canadian team for this project, CCMW has been working to better understand these concepts by producing research which will be used for the upcoming publication. This includes mapping the laws and policies that relate to qiwamah and wilayah in the Canadian context, conducting interviews, sharing information with the Mussawah network and analyzing the results. The cross-national report with its findings will be compiled and available for download this coming year on the CCMW and Mussawah website.

About Musawah

This about section is provided by Musawah

Musawah Logo“Musawah (‘equality’ in Arabic) is a global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family. It was launched in February 2009 at a Global Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia attended by over 250 women and men from some 50 countries from around the globe. Musawah is pluralistic and inclusive, bringing together NGOs, activists, scholars, legal practitioners, policy makers and grassroots women and men from around the world.

  • We believe that equality and justice in the Muslim family are necessary and possible.
  • Equality in the family is the foundation for equality in the society. Families in all their multiple forms should be safe and happy spaces, equally empowering for all.
  • In the 21st century there cannot be justice without equality. The time for equality and justice is now!
  • Musawah builds on centuries of efforts to promote and protect equality and justice in the family and in society.
  • The movement is led by Muslim women who seek to publicly reclaim Islam’s spirit of justice for all.
  • Musawah acts together with individuals and groups to grow the movement, build knowledge and advocate for change on multiple levels.
  • We use a holistic framework that integrates Islamic teachings, universal human rights, national constitutional guarantees of equality, and the lived realities of women and men.

Vision: A world where equality, non-discrimination, justice, and dignity are the basis of all human relations.”

Learn More About Musawah

To learn more about the Musawah organization visit the following links: